Student Start-Up

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Over the summer, my primary academic adviser, Lisa Munger Oakes, asked if I’d like to help bring a new organization to campus – The Association for Women in Communications. I’ll admit, I was hesitant because I’m working more than ever this semester and still have positions in a few other organizations. However, LMO (my adviser is cool, so we text and have nicknames) has never led me astray and the open nature of the group interested me, so I said yes.

Three months later, I’m standing in a room with 70 women including distinguished marketing professional and Des Moines community member, Jana Rieker, and everyone is laughing:

“Learn how to play golf, that’s the first lesson. You don’t have to be good, but never tell anyone that, just say you can golf,” says Rieker with a broad smile.

Checking new members in to the kick off the meeting.

When the meeting ends, three women from the Greater Des Moines Area professional chapter of The Association for Women in Communications present me with a generous donation to our group. Two new members approach me, one is a sophomore in journalism and the other is a senior in biology who just wants to learn more about communication, this is so cool. The whole point of our group is to provide resources for any woman with an appreciation for communications and we had done that.

After three months of constitution writing, group texting and planning, the ISU student chapter of The Association for Women in Communications is up and running. In this short amount of time I’ve met and worked with communications professionals from across the metro to set up the chapter, I’ve connected with students in many different majors and I’ve gotten the opportunity to work closely with my academic adviser and LAS faculty.

AWC executive team members and our adviser Lisa Munger Oakes with Jana Rieker, center back.

So what have I learned from bringing a student org to campus?

When your adviser texts you, always text back.
Say yes when you can, don’t slack and don’t worry about “fair shares”, either way it will have to be done!
Reach out to fellow students that might appreciate new opportunities, fill your own big shoes with someone else’s big ideas.
Be flexible, friendly and clear when working with someone new, no matter who it is.
Learn how to golf.

Posted by: Sarah Curran